On 27th September 1825, George Stephenson himself rolled into Stockton in Country Durham aboard Locomotive No. 1. As he did so, he changed the face of Britain forever, marking the opening of the world’s first public railway: the Stockton to Darlington Line. The current Stockton station was built in 1893, but there are still echoes of Stockton’s glorious past to be seen. Look out for the wrought iron above the Bishopton Lane gate, the only entrance to the station, and the red-brick wall covered in foliage on platform 2, which once held a vast roof that spanned the two platforms. These days, hourly services take passengers north to Sunderland and Newcastle, and south to Middlesbrough.
Stockton High Street, with its grand market square, is a ten-minute walk south, towards the River Tees. As there are no facilities at the station, the local shops – a two-minute away on Bishopton Lane – are handy for picking up snacks and newspapers.